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Rural Matters

May 7, 2019

Michelle chats with Mike Shimmens, executive director of 3RNet (National Rural & Retention Network), a nonprofit network that has had a health care job board for more than two decades, and Joyce  Grayson, a member of Kansas Recruitment and Retention Center, which works with 3RNet.  3RNet works in the “safety net” space, involved with several kinds of health care entities, such as local health clinics, who do not always have robust recruitment networks. Grayson, who is also chair of the 3RNet Board of Directors, notes that 3RNet seeks health care providers for rural communities who are in “for the long haul.” She talks about recently recruiting a psychiatric nurse to Kansas, which helped surrounding communities with critical behavioral health needs. Often, as was the case in this situation, the recruitment efforts involve working with the spouse of the health care provider. 3RNet is a “navigator” for providers by working with them on loan forgiveness or reduction, notes. Grayson. Shimmens says that the recruitment of health care providers for hospitals and clinics can have more than a $1 million impact on local rural communities. While there are certainly many challenges in recruiting health care providers into rural communities, it is also extremely challenging to retain these providers. The key to success is to try to have the provider and partner engaged in their new community and to work with them on achieving work-life balance. It’s also important for retention to make sure that the new employer’s culture, as well as the new community, is supportive of the health care professional who was recruited. This episode was sponsored by 3RNet,